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ZipDose - 3DP Dosage Printing by Aprecia (A pharmacy student perspective by Miguel Galvez)

As an APPE student for RXinsider, I am tasked to formulate and present topics of interest to the RXinsider staff. RXinsider is a technology, publishing, and multimedia company focused on the pharmacy market. The topic of interest today will be ZipDose Technology.

ZipDose is a 3D printing technology owned by Aprecia pharmaceuticals. In 2015, Aprecia’s proprietary technology led to the first FDA approved 3D printed drug, Spritam, which contains the active ingredient levetiracetam. Spritam is a porous tablet that disperses in seconds with a tablespoon of water. To take Spritam, place the tablet on your tongue and take a sip of water, wait for the tablet to melt, then swallow. Alternatively, place the tablet in a tablespoon of water, swirl, and drink. ZipDose technology would be helpful, not only for the pediatric population but for patients who struggle with adherence or dysphagia such as those affected by stroke, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s disease. Also, ZipDose technology has extensive taste-masking abilities. Aprecia holds an exclusive worldwide license for its novel technology and wants to introduce the benefits of ZipDose to the pharmaceutical world.

ZipDose technology assembles a porous structure layer by layer without using compression forces or molds, eliminating the potential of product loss and particle coating disruptions. Aprecia wants drug manufacturers to license their technology. One of ZipDose’s biggest advantage in fast melt technology is they can provide higher dosage loads. Lyophilization and soft compression techniques have only produced strengths of 275mg, ZipDose claims they can do up to 1000mg. This would allow decrease pill burden, decrease pill size, and increase adherence. Furthermore, Aprecia claims that ZipDose is not limited to water-insoluble molecules like lyophilization is. ZipDose technology also can control and adjust drug formulation, and release profiles, which can provide cost savings in drug development. Last, drug manufacturers may extend current patent protections through 505(B) (2) submissions through ZipDose.

ZipDose is one of a kind of technology, with many advantages over current drug formulations. Furthermore, ZipDose is new and data related to its impact on the cost of manufacturing, cost of new drug approval, and the patient cost are limited, but an important factor to evaluate.

Miguel (Mike) Galvez is currently a P4 Pharmacy Student at the University of Rhode Island. Mike is currently performing an APPE pharmacy student rotation at RXinsider in West Warwick Rhode Island.

My Bio

An attentive, hardworking, goal orientated scholar from the San Fernando Valley who is striving for a dual degree from the University of Rhode Island in pharmacy and business. I’m a very active scholar. I take part in many extracurricular activities ranging from academic pharmacy clubs like SUPP to volunteer community development associations like Habitat to athletic extracurriculars like basketball and volleyball. 

I wanted to be a pharmacist to break the cultural barrier in my community. Growing up Mexican I was taught not to look an elder or someone of higher rank, such as a health professional, in the eye because it was disrespectful. Also, frequently the community wouldn’t communicate with the pharmacist because of a language barrier. As a kid, I saw this translate into poorer health outcomes in my community because no one would dare speak to someone like a pharmacist and take up their valuable time. I remember going to the pharmacy. I recall the pharmacist asking my mom if she had questions about her medicine, she never did, even though she didn’t know what the drug was for. I want to be a pharmacist hoping I can change my community’s health outcomes. I could get them to take an interest in their health by being the initiator and letting them know they are the priority. I am here to make an impact. 

Miguel Galvez

PharmD/MBA Candidate 2021

University of Rhode Island

College of Pharmacy

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